Chickashanews.com

September 4, 2012

Shinn at 3 p.m.: Defense chided for allowing 177 rushing yards


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma's defense didn't allow a point for the first time since 2010, but took some heat during the season-opening 24-7 victory over UTEP.

The criticism centered on giving up 177 rushing yards to the Miners' Nathan Jeffrey.

Middle linebacker Tom Wort admitted there's some improvement that needs to be made before the Sooners face Florida A&M on Saturday at Owen Field.

"The running game is something we need to improve. We can't have that," he said. "I feel good to get the shutout, but there was a little bit of luck in that. We need to make sure there's no more luck."

The luck came in getting UTEP to miss three field goals.

But Wort, who had seven tackles and a pass breakup against the Miners, couldn't believe the criticism when he saw when he turned on his computer early Sunday morning.

"After the game I'm trying to look up the stats, and you see stuff. You're like, Really? Like that?" he said. "You can't let it affect you. But it's kind of funny at times. It's funny to hear what some people say when they don't know what happened. It's just funny. All that matters is what the coaches think. If you're getting good grades during the game, you're still going to be on the field."

Wort said his game grade from linebackers coach Tim Kish was a 93.

"I mean, I graded out the highest I've graded out since I've been here," Wort added. "I've seen what's been said about me, that I played terrible that game."